Tag Archives: democrats

Little Boxes

This economic prediction is from Rawles on SurvivalBlog this morning:

I’ve recently been asked by several blog readers and consulting clients about my predictions for the economy for the next few years. Here they are, in a nutshell: The US economy will remain weak for for at least five years. Both the commercial and residential real estate markets are unlikely to recover before 2018, especially as interest rates begin to increase. Noticeable inflation should begin around the Spring of 2011 and will become uncomfortably high by 2012. If the announced Federal income tax and capital gains tax increases do indeed go into effect, they will stifle the economy for the foreseeable future. Continued financial instability in the periphery of the EU will continue to keep the Euro weak versus the Dollar, but in the end, both currencies are doomed. Global credit market chaos will probably continue for several more years, as will the Mother of All Bailouts (MOAB) here in the United States. I’d say that there is a 25% chance of a Dollar Panic and devaluation in the next four years, and a 5% chance of a hyperinflationary Dollar Collapse. But regardless, some inflation is coming. Its severity is difficult to predict. The bull market in precious metals is nowhere near its end. I still predict that spot price of silver will eventually exceed $50 per ounce.

I think it’s pretty close to what I would predict. When he says “…in the end, both currencies are doomed”, while probably true, could be a decades away. I think it’s interesting he’s picking 2018 as the earliest real estate recovery date when I picked close to the same thing last night (I was a little more optimistic, thinking 2015). The inflation prediction is his earliest prediction, so I’ll be watching for his accuracy.

Here’s another “I’m not an idiot” moment. Richard Fernandez wrote this yesterday:

But Barone implies that for all the apparent flux one thing remains constant: it’s a brake and throttle world. The liberals hit the throttle and the Republicans sometimes step on the brakes. Republicans haven’t noticed the steering wheel.

Yeah, that’s just about right, IMO. This ties in with the above prediction. That pessimism is born out of not believing that either party will do anything more than delay the inevitable. People tend to operate in their own self-interest, and a vast majority of politicians’ self-interest is diametrically opposed to the country’s self-interest. And as a rule, the longer they are “serving”, the more that’s true. Later he makes a comment that’s rather apropos to a conversation I had with my wife last night:

It may take more than hard times to make a political paradigm shift thinkable.

Or planting fruit trees, for that matter. How many people just can’t imagine growing their own food? All people create their own boxes of their minds that can be very difficult to break out of. Some worse that others, of course. Limits in thinking equal limits in action, so when an action is required that requires you to think outside your little box, you freeze.

More Tea Party Commentary

Thanks to Instapundit, I saw this today.

Judging from the left’s hysterical reaction, something really big must have happened. But the only way to really understand the left’s misinformed and paranoid attacks is to realize that the protests represent tangible proof that basic libertarian values continue to resonate with the American electorate. That, apparently, is a difficult thing for some to accept.

Yes, that seems right to me. It’s been almost surrealistic for the Left — as a whole — to be so venomous about the tea party protests. Isn’t this the People Power Party? I guess only when you’re protesting on the right side of things. And I’ll paste in a piece that Glenn pasted into his post, because it’s perfect:

What were the tea parties about? Reading the signs and talking to people (unlike CNN’s incredibly hostile Susan Roesgen, I actually let folks answer my questions in their own words), the “agenda” was crystal clear. Tea party activists were worried and angry about government bailouts for the irresponsible, about spending that “stimulated” record growth in government and not much else, and about government borrowing that will place unconscionable burdens on future generations of Americans. My favorite sign of the day: “Give Me Liberty, Not Debt.”

Some tried to diminish the tea parties as misguided tax protests. In reality, the protestors demonstrated a sophisticated understanding of economics that went well beyond objections to higher tax rates. You can’t spend money you don’t have, the tea party attendees understood, and government spending above current revenues must be paid for with higher taxes, more borrowing (to be paid for with higher taxes in the future), or artificial government expansion of money and credit, which can only debase the currency and make everyone poorer through inflation.

Yes! That’s exactly what I’ve been saying ever since these protests started. It’s not about the taxes we’re paying now — it’s about the future. Listen: you can’t run 2 trillion dollar deficits without eventually increasing taxes on the middle class. The only other option is inflating the value of the dollar to make 2 trillion dollars not as scary, which 1) makes everyone’s savings worth less and less, and 2) is exactly what tin pot dictators do when the going gets tough.

Tell me this isn’t scary. I dare you.

Tragedy of Errors

The Financial Post out of the Great White North posted an editorial by Terence Corcoran asking, is this the end of America? Yes, perhaps a bit over the top. But. Is it really? He gets himself out of hyperbolic screed territory by noting that how you define “America” is awfully important, and not just focusing on the two months of disgrace our political class has shown the world. They’re both important. The President has been very forthright that he intends on changing everything. If allowed to skip down the road he says he wants us to go down, America would, indeed, not look anything like it has in the past. A significant minority of people in this country would count this has a great thing, our President and Congressional leadership included.

This paragraph is key:

One test of whether we are witnessing the end of America is how many more times Americans put up with congressional show trials of individual business people and their employees, slandering and vilifying them for their actions and motives. And for how long will they tolerate a President who berates business and corporations as dens of crime and malfeasance? If the majority of Americans come to accept the caricatures of business as true, then America is closer to the end of its life as a global leader, as a champion of markets and individualism.

Here’s the problem: while they try to keep the voter’s eye on the end goal, somewhere in the future, the whole thing is falling apart in the present. It’s not going to work. The end gambit isn’t some post-modern, quasi-socialist better-than-Europe Utopia, but nothing less than hacking off America’s legs and arms, and removing us from the world’s leadership through economic and social destruction. Now, this possible future is way down the road, too. The key is to not get caught up with the promises of a New Day, but pay attention to what’s happening now. If what’s going on in Washington doesn’t pass the sniff test, it probably is what you think it is.

Now a Bailout of GM?

I’m not saying anything here that hasn’t been said much eloquently elsewhere, but it’s incredible to me that there will likely be a huge bailout of GM — and the Other Two — within the next few months, and perhaps much less if Congress gets their way. Let me say this for posterity: this is a bad, bad idea. It rewards bad business decisions, as in entering unsubstainable contracts with the UAW, as well as putting all your eggs in the truck and SUV basket. It pushes the problem down the road, as this issue will not go away just by throwing money at it. It gets close (or will, depending on the bailout package) to having a true, honest-to-God socialist government stake in a major manufacturing sector, reducing market responsiveness, reducing efficiency, and ensuring further degradation of the American-owned auto industry. In other words, it’s bad, all around.

And it’s almost certainly going to happen. Why? Because Democrats in change — including President-Elect Obama — are the same old politics. They are beholden to those interests that put them there, and in this case, one of those interests are the labor unions. A new kind of politics? Prove it. This is the incoming administration’s first test of that claim. As far as how toxic this is for America and it’s people, this is just as bad as being beholden to corporate interests. It’s putting a benefactor’s interest ahead of the country’s citizens.

This is going to come back and haunt is horribly in the future.